India lose openers early, trail Australia by 234

A brisk half-century by Virender Shewag took India to 99 for two in the first innings, in reply to Australia's 333 at tea on the second day of the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Tuesday.

Sehwag departed shortly before the tea break after scoring 67 off 83 balls. Rahul Dravid (25) and Sachin Tendulkar (2) were at the crease.

India lost Gautam Gambhir (3) early in the eighth over as the left-handed batsman chased a wide delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus and edged behind to the wicketkeeper.

Sehwag lived dangerously and added 75 runs for the second wicket with Dravid. Sehwag struck seven fours during his stay and was dismissed in his attempt to hit a cover drive off James Pattinson but an inside edge crashed onto his stumps.

Tendulkar received a huge standing ovation from the MCG crowd as he walked out to play probably his last Test at the historic ground.

Earlier, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets each in the first session to bowl out Australia for 333 in the first innings shortly before the lunch break.

Australia, resuming at the overnight score of 277/6, survived just 21 overs during which they added 56 runs and achieved a par total at the MCG. Zaheer finished with figures of four for 77 while Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin bagged three wickets each.

Zaheer struck in the second over of the day to remove overnight batsman Brad Haddin (27). The Australian wicket-keeper stretched out for a fading ball and edged to Sehwag at gully. He walked from the pitch but had to wait several minutes on the field as the third umpire reviewed whether the bowler had bowled a no-ball.

Peter Siddle also departed soon after he was squared up by a late shaping out-swinger from Zaheer and edged behind for 41.

Hilfenhaus (19) and James Pattinson (18 not out) added a valuable 27 runs for the ninth wicket. Hilfenhaus was eventually out caught in the deep after he attempted to hit Ashwin out of the ground and Nathan Lyon (6) misjudged a sweep and was bowled behind his leg by a straight ball by the off-spinner.

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